Lost by 6 wickets

Pilgrims 148-9 (W J M Caldwell 53); Bradfield 149-4 ( H R C Came 77).

A week of exceptionally wet weather had put this fixture in some doubt but in the event it was played out in somewhat cold and blustery conditions with the captains (Charlie Esson captaining us in place of James Vitali who was playing for Cambridge University) having agreed to reduce the number of overs to 40 each to take account of the unsettled weather. We lost the toss and were put in to bat which was unfortunate for we were confronted with helpful bowling conditions which were to the liking of the Bradfield attack who bowled to the right length and with sustained accuracy. The ball moved both in the air and off the pitch and scoring was also inhibited by  a lush slow outfield. We lost Ferg Taylor early on- a pity because a few lusty blows from him could have made all the difference. Will Caldwell and Charlie Esson raised the score to 44 before the latter was bowled in the 15th over. By the 24th over we had worked our way to 69 for 3. Caldwell continued to play an anchor role and Charlie Cooke then played attractively for his 28 off 36 balls. Upon his dismissal only James Caldwell, with 17 runs off 12 balls, made any impact as we slid from 111 for 4 off 34 overs to 148 in the remaining 6 overs. In hindsight we were about 30 runs short of a competitive target but not being familiar with the ground it was perhaps slightly difficult for the batsmen to know what was a  par score. 

To win the game we needed to make early  inroads into their batting order. Charlie Cooke took  a brilliant catch behind the stumps off James Caldwell to reduce Bradfield to 30 for 1 off 6 overs but their second  wicket only fell at 125 with nine overs to go and 24 to win. Although our bowlers were persistent the combination of easing batting conditions and lack of scoreboard pressure allowed Bradfield to progress towards their target without unnecessary risk. We might have helped ourselves by not bowling 2 extra overs worth of wides. James Pyman made a most promising debut bowling with fine rhythmn and at a sharp pace in conceding only 16 runs of his 6 overs. James Caldwell, also making his debut, bowled accurately and deserved his wicket. Another debutant, Harry Fisher, batted long enough to show he has real potential. Will Caldwell batted with patience and composure. He will have wished to have accelerated more than he did but with wickets falling around him at regular intervals he probably felt unable to play with more freedom. Our bowling attack was clearly good enough to suggest that had they had first use of the wicket Bradfield would have experienced the same difficulties that we encountered. Thus the result could well have gone with the toss. A disappointing defeat but nevertheless a series of promising performances by all the debutant Pilgrims augurs well for the future.